Executor Compensation and Fees (VA)

If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, VA estates must follow state compensation rules (see VA calculator below).

In Virginia, the estate executor is also known as a "personal representative", or more generally, a "fiduciary".

Virginia statute makes reference to "reasonable" compensation, in the the form of a commission on receipts or otherwise, and the Judicial Counsel of Virginia has refined that phrasing to provide more specific guidelines.

Executor compensation for VA estates is primarily calculated as a percentage of the qualified estate gross value (see limitations below):

  • 5.0% on the first $400K
  • 4.0% on the next $300K
  • 3.0% on the next $300K
  • 2.0% on the next $9M
  • Check with the court about anything more

So, for example, a Virgina estate with a gross value of $60K would yield $3K in executor fees, and one worth $600K would generate $28K in executor fees.

The executor can also claim up to 5% on any non-capital gains income generated by the estate.

A few limitations:

  • Funds which pass directly to named beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies or 401Ks, are not included in these calculations
  • Real estate is excluded, unless the executor is forced to sell it, the affected heirs all agree to sell it, or such a sale is in the best interests of the estate
  • If the estate is simple enough that everything can be wrapped up in less than a year, executor compensation should be prorated to the fraction of the year it took

Finally, if multiple executors are involved, the court has the power to increase overall compensation, but generally the fee is simply split among the executors.

See Virginia Codes § 64.2-1208 and Court Guidelines for more details.

VA Compensation Calculator

EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for VA estates, but please keep in mind that circumstances may vary, and that there may be special situations addressed by local custom or law. By using this estimator, you acknowledge that EstateExec provides any results as informational input only, not as legal advice, and cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies for, or misunderstandings about, any given estate.

You can use this calculator now, but if you use EstateExec to help you track the settlement process, it will automatically perform the sometimes complex calculations to provide inputs for the fields below (you can create an estate for free).

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See also Compensation for general remarks on executor compensation.

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